A Circle of Protest Assembles in Augusta Maine: “Step Aside, Paul LePage”
This evening, hundreds of people stood in a circle around Augusta, Maine’s Capitol Park to speak with one voice, telling Governor Paul LePage that it’s time to resign. Hundreds may not sound like much to you, but Maine is a state with small population. The capital city of Augusta has just nineteen thousand people living in it — so a turnout of hundreds is astonishing by our standards.
Why did all these people turn out to form a circle around a park in Augusta? In case you haven’t heard, this past week Governor Paul LePage named people of color “the enemy,” advocated shooting “the enemy,” threatened to kill a state legislator, used anti-gay slurs and disclosed that he keeps binders of news clippings of arrested black and Hispanic people so he can look at when he feels upset. Mainers gathered a block away from Governor LePage’s home to say “enough” in their polite way and to ask LePage to step aside from his office, then get some professional help.
The general scale of tonight’s Maine is clear from this video, although it’s sped up to keep it from being overly long: it took about ten minutes for my wife, who shot the video, to make her way around the whole ring of protesters. Audio of the crowd singing “This Land is Your Land” (yes, Maine is kind of old-timey) is paired with a speeded-up tour around that ring.